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Customer Service in the UAE Banking Sector Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2020


The SERVQUAL has been used widely to evaluate customer service in the banking industry. It evaluates whether banks possess certain qualities such as reliability and empathy. These dimensions have been linked to quality customer service. Researchers have conducted studies that have utilized the SERVQUAL instrument to measure customer service in the UAE banks. This paper is a literature review of the studies conducted in order to address several research questions.

  1. Which dimensions of service quality have been demonstrated by UAE Islamic banks?
  2. What is the relationship between the dimensions of service quality and overall customer satisfaction?
  3. What are the dimensions that have affected the level of service quality the most in UAE Islamic banks?

Customer Service Levels in the UAE banking sector

Jabnoun & Khalifa (2005) carried out a research study on the dimensions of service quality that affect the level of customer service in UAE banks. The researchers developed a 30-item questionnaire for distribution to clients of both conventional and Islamic banks in Dubai and Sharjah. The questions were based on the five dimensions of SERVQUAL and two additional qualities of values and image.

The data showed that the four dimensions of personal skills, reliability, values, and image were highly valued by the customers of conventional banks. The customers of Islamic banks prioritized personal skills and values. The researchers proposed that managers in the UAE banks should focus on strengthening the qualities that are esteemed highly by the customers.

Al-Tamimi & Al-Amiri (2003) carried out a similar study on service quality levels in UAE banks. They narrowed the study to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank. They analyzed the perception of the customers on the service quality levels in the two banks using the five SERVQUAL criteria. The results showed that the customers valued empathy, reliability, and tangibles. The clients felt that reliability contributed the most to customer satisfaction,

The researchers went further to investigate the effect of other factors on the levels of customer satisfaction. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in the quality of customer service given when it came to the client’s gender or nationality. However, factors such as age, education and the number of years the client had related to the bank affected the quality of customer service administered.

Norizan & Nizar (2007) investigated the impact of the image, perceived service quality and satisfaction on customer retention. It is an interesting research study since a bank with high levels of customer retention can be argued to have high service quality levels. The researchers wanted to find out which quality influenced customer retention the most. The study targeted the customers of UAE banks in the retail sector. The data gathered showed that satisfaction was not the sole factor that motivated a customer to continue transacting with a particular bank. The customers were also concerned with issues such as the image of the company.

Jabnoun & Tamimi (2003) modified the SERVQUAL instrument into 30 items based on the five main dimensions. The SERVQUAL instrument has been criticized by certain researchers. They argue that it cannot be used as the standard instruments in all industries. There are qualities that apply in banking while others are relevant in other industries such as hospitality. Jabnoun & Tamimi modified the 22 questions into 30 questions and distributed the questionnaires to the targeted sample.

The instrument showed that the customers highly valued empathy, reliability, and tangibles. The researchers ensured that the instrument was measured for reliability and validity. They also ensured that the instrument was able to highlight the significance of each dimension compared to the others. They argue that the information will help managers in banks know where to focus on.

Chowdhary & Prakash (2007) also support the argument that managers should make service quality gaps a priority while carrying out their work. Managers on the hand usually speculate on which specific dimensions they should focus on in their organizations. The researchers carried out a study to find out how these dimensions should be prioritized. The results showed that in service industries where companies dealt with the individual’s possessions reliability took a high priority. Assurance and empathy were also required by the individual at high levels. The dimensions of tangibility and responsiveness came in last after the three mentioned dimensions.


The results of the literature review show that customers value the different dimensions of service quality differently. In my research study, I will focus on which service quality dimensions are demonstrated by UAE banks and the impact it has on customer satisfaction. I will also investigate which service dimensions gaps have affected service quality and customer satisfaction the most. I will identify the major Islamic banks and collect the required data by distributing questionnaires to their clients. I will then analyze whether the data collected addresses the highlighted research questions. The clients will be selected across different ages and gender. There will also be new clients and older clients so that the sample is representative of the population.


Al-Tamimi, H. & Al-Amiri, A. (2003). Analysing service quality in the UAE Islamic banks. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 8 (2), 119–132. Web.

Chowdhary, N. & Prakash, M. (2007) Prioritizing service quality dimensions. Managing Service Quality, 17 (5), 493-509. Web.

Jabnoun, N & Khalifa (2005). A customized measure of service quality in the UAE. Managing Service Quality, 15(4), 374-388. Web.

Jabnoun, N. & Tamimi, H. (2003). Measuring Perceived Service Quality at UAE Commercial Banks. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management 20, 458-472. Web.

Norizan, M. K. & Nizar, S. (2007). Customer retention measurement in the UAE banking sector. Financial Services Marketing, 11(3), 217-228. Web.

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"Customer Service in the UAE Banking Sector." IvyPanda, 26 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/customer-service-in-the-uae-banking-sector/.

1. IvyPanda. "Customer Service in the UAE Banking Sector." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/customer-service-in-the-uae-banking-sector/.


IvyPanda. "Customer Service in the UAE Banking Sector." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/customer-service-in-the-uae-banking-sector/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Customer Service in the UAE Banking Sector." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/customer-service-in-the-uae-banking-sector/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Customer Service in the UAE Banking Sector'. 26 June.

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